Connect to share and comment

US unemployment rate falls to 7.5 percent, a new four-year low

US employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and far more in February and March than expected.

Unemployment april 2013Enlarge
People looking for work stand in line to apply for a job during a job fair at the Miami Dolphins Sun Life stadium on May 2, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Unemployment dropped to a 4-year low in April, according to new stats. (Joe Raedle/AFP/Getty Images)

The US unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent last month, a new four-year low. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the American economy added 165,000 jobs in April, as well as more jobs in February and March than were previously estimated. 

According to the report, 332,000 jobs were added in February and 138,000 in March. 

“This is a good report,” John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo, told the Associated Press. “There’s a lot of strength... It’s good for the economy. It’s good for people’s income.”

Silvia added that the stronger job growth suggests that the federal government's budget cuts “does not mean recession. It does not mean a dramatic slowdown.”

The report also showed some gains for the long-term unemployed – those that have been without work for 27 weeks or more. Last month, those numbers went down 258,000 to 4.4 million; the percentage of the total number of unemployed declined by 2.2 percentage points, to 37.4 percent. 

Part-time employment also saw an increase of 278,000 to 7.9 million, largely offsetting the decrease seen in that sector of employment in March. 

Some of the greatest gains were in lower-paying sectors, the AP pointed out, like hotels and restaurants (which saw an increase of 45,000 jobs) and retail, which added 29,000 positions. 

However, some economists have speculated that those areas are hiring more part-time workers to avoid the requirement for companies with more than 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance to their full-time staff in 2014. 

More from GlobalPost: US unemployment at lowest level since 2008 (VIDEO)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130503/us-unemployment-rate-falls-new-four-year-low